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UPDATED: SMX Championship Scenarios

By Brett Smith

Jett Lawrence and Ken Roczen, 2023 Chicagoland
Jett Lawrence and Ken Roczen battling at 2023 SMX Round two in Chicagoland. Photo: Garth Milan

UPDATED 9/19/2023

450 SMX

Here’s how five different riders could win the 450 SuperMotocross World Championship this weekend in the LA Memorial Coliseum. Two riders control their own destiny, one has a very realistic chance and two more need to win their first races of the season (and get some help behind them).

Remember: it’s triple points (75 to the winner, 66 for second, 60 for third). Find the entire points breakdown below the 250 class.

450 Scenario #1: Chase Sexton vs. Jett Lawrence, Winner Takes All

This is the simplest to explain, grasp and sell. Sexton Leads Lawrence by two points and the difference between first and second in LA is nine points.

Reason to believe: They are the 2023 450 Supercross and Pro Motocross champions.

Chase Sexton, 2023
It was a hometown crowd for Chase Sexton, who was raised 75 minutes west of Chicagoland. Photo: Octopi

Scenario #2. Ken Roczen has a very real shot

Ken Roczen is still very much in this battle. He’s 10 points behind, which means it’s not exactly winner-take-all for him. Had he raced a few more Pro Motocross races, he would have likely finished higher in the overall regular season points standings (so he would have scored extra seeding points). He was 109 points behind Jason Anderson (7th), however, so it’s far from being a ‘dang-should-have-tried-a-little-harder’ situation.

Roczen can take this title if he wins AND:

  1. Chase Sexton finishes 3rd or worse
  2. Jett Lawrence finishes 2nd or worse.

Reason to believe: Kenny’s a 2x Pro Motocross champion (2014, 2016) and 10th overall on the all-time SX wins list (21). Speed: he was fastest qualifier at High Point and Chicago and anyone who has eyeballs could see he had something for Jett in moto two in Chicago.

Scenario #3: Root for Captain America.

Aaron Plessinger is still in it but needs some luck. He’s 16 points back. He wins the title if he wins the overall AND all of the following happens:

  1. Chase Sexton finishes 4th or worse
  2. Jett Lawrence finishes 3rd or worse
  3. Ken Roczen finishes 2nd or worse

Reason to believe: He was fastest in moto one at Chicago and he was also the only one remotely in the ballpark of running Jett & Ken’s speed in moto two. How amazing would it be for our MXoN leader to get redemption for his Detroit crash when he led 20 of 22 laps?

Aaron Plessinger
Who wouldn’t want to see Aaron Plessinger win in LA? Photo: Garth Milan

Scenario #4: We’re saying there’s a chance.

Dylan Ferrandis is the last one with a remote chance. He’s 19 points back. Because of what needs to happen with other riders, it’s a big longshot. He wins the title if he wins AND all of the following happens:

  1. Chase Sexton finishes 4th or worse
  2. Jett Lawrence finishes 4th or worse
  3. Ken Roczen finishes 2nd or worse

Reason to believe: 2021 Pro Motocross champion. Realistically he’s a tick off the top 3, but he’s been in the mix every single moto with 2-4-6-5 moto finishes.

250 SMX

It’s really a three rider championship at this point, but there are 3 others within reach if the seemingly impossible happens.

Hunter Lawrence, 2023 SMX Chicagoland
Hunter Lawrence flies in sync with Haiden Deegan at SMX Round 2 in Chicagoland. Photo: Garth Milan

250 Scenario #1: Winner Takes All

These three riders control their own destiny: Hunter Lawrence, Jo Shimoda, and Haiden Deegan. A win = $500,000 and the footnote of being crowned the first ever SuperMotocross World Champion.  

Hunter Lawrence is leading by 3 points over Jo Shimoda and 7 points over Haiden Deegan. The difference between first and second in LA is nine points

Reasons to believe:

  • Hunter was back on form this weekend in Chicago.
  • Shimoda has been on fire since winning Ironman – 1st, 1st, and 2nd. He’s led 14 total SMX laps,  the most of anyone in the class.
  • Deegan’s been podium consistent with two 3rds in the SMX World Championships. He’s led 13 total SMX laps, second most in the class.
Joe Shimoda, 2023, Chicagoland
Joe Shimoda went 2-2 for second at Chicagoland, SMX round 2. Photo: Octopi

Scenario #2: Needs Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink

Levi Kitchen sits fourth. He’s 26 points behind Hunter Lawrence. It’s a loooong shot for the championship, but still possible. He can win the title if he wins and all of the following happens:

  1. Hunter Lawrence finishes 6th or worse.
  2. Jo Shimoda finishes 5th or worse.
  3. Haiden Deegan finishes 4th or worse.

Reason to believe:  Speed. He was fastest in moto one in Charlotte and second fastest in moto one in Chicago. But he’s been inconsistent: he finished 11th and 12th in each of the SMX second motos run so far.

Scenario #3: The Very Long Shots

RJ Hampshire and Jordon Smith are in a similar situation with Levi Kitchen. They’ll need even more luck. They can win the title if either wins and all of the following:

  1. Hunter finishes 6th or worse (but Hunter has only finished outside the top 5 in 6 of 36 races this year).
  2. Shimoda finishes 6th or worse (because of the tiebreaker rules). But Jo hasn’t been off the podium since moto 1 at Budds Creek.
  3. Deegan finishes 4th or worse

Reason to believe: Speed: RJ was fastest qualifier in Chicago. Jordon had top 10 fastest laps in Charlotte.

SuperMotocross Points Breakdown

2023 SuperMotocross World Championship Points
Points breakdown for all three 2023 SMX Rounds. The column in the boxes on the left are the points riders started with, based on their reguklar season standings.

Everything below this line includes scenarios heading into the round 2 in Chicago.

Given that the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship is only three rounds of action, it’s already time to talk title scenarios.

Below is a combination of ‘what-if’ scenarios. It’s not every possible outcome. I’m not IBM’s “Watson”, nor am I particularly good at algebra so I kept this simple, brief, with math at a third grade level or easier.

First, we must lay out what has happened so far:

Chase Sexton has a sweet 12 point lead thanks to three things:  

  • He finished the regular season with the most 450 SX/MX points (710), earning 25 points to start the playoffs, three more than Aaron Plessinger (22) and five more points than Jett Lawrence (20).
  • 1-1 for first overall in the first ever 450SMX Final (Charlotte) earned him another 25 points.
  • Lawrence’s 7-2 for fourth overall at Charlotte earned him 18 points. So that’s how he goes to Chicago with a 12-point deficit.
Jett Lawrence, SMX
Jett Lawrence rode to 7-2 for 4th overall at the 2023 SMX Round 1, Charlotte.

Current 450SMX Points Standings

1. Chase Sexton: 50

2. Jett Lawrence 38

3. Aaron Plessinger: 38

4. Dylan Ferrandis: 37

5. Ken Roczen: 36

Click here for full points for both class with results.

Scroll to the bottom for a complete breakdown of the SMX points structure.

Scenario #1: Chase Breezes Through Chicago, Cruises in LA

Sexton wins round two in Chicago and Lawrence finishes second. Sexton heads to LA with 100 points to Lawrence’s 82.

Even with triple points in LA, Chase can cruise to third O/A at the final round (if Jett wins).

Say someone else (not a Honda) wins LA and Jett gets second. Then Chase would need 6th overall to tie at 148 points. Tiebreaker rules go into effect.

Scenario #2: Lawrence Wins Chicago, Winner Takes All Final

Lawrence wins round two in Chicago and Chase finishes second (or third). Lawrence heads to LA six (or two) points behind, which sets up a final round, overall-winner-take-all showdown.

But say Sexton has a poor night in Chicago (anywhere from 4th to 7th overall) and Lawrence wins. Sexton would then leave round two as the runner up (or third) in the championship going into the final round.

Due to the triple points paying final, however, round three remains a winner-takes-it. If Chase finishes 7th in Chicago (and Lawrence wins) but Chase wins LA, he wins the SMX title by one point.

Chase: 50+30+75 = 155

Jett: 38+50+66 = 154

Scenario #3: Komeback Kenny

He’s 5th in points but just two points out of a three-way tie for second place. Let’s give Kenny the win in Chicago, Jett second and Chase third.

3A: Points After Two Rounds

Sexton: 90

Roczen: 86

Lawrence: 82

Ken Roczen 2023 SMX Round 1, Charlotte.
Ken Roczen went 3-3 for second overall at the 2023 SMX Round 1, Charlotte.

The nine-point difference between first and second in the triple-points-paying LA final means that the winner (provided it’s one of these three riders above) takes the championship.

Flip Sexton’s and Lawrence’s Chicago finishes from the above scenario and imagine Sexton takes second and Lawrence third. It’s down to Sexton and Roczen for winner-take-all.

3B: Points After Two Rounds

Sexton: 94

Roczen: 86

Lawrence: 78

If Lawrence wins in LA with the above scenario, he finishes with 153 points. Sexton wins the title with a second or third overall (160/154 points).

If Kenny finishes second in Chicago, then he heads to LA with 80 points in a must win situation and he’ll need some help behind him.

Scenario #4: Don’t Forget Dylan

Ferrandis and Roczen tied in Charlotte (2-4) vs. (3-3) but the better second moto earned Roczen second overall and two more championship points. Ferrandis started the post-season with an eight point deficit so he really could have used those two extra points.

But here we are and Ferrandis enters SMX round two with 37 points. Say he wins Chicago and LA and Chase finishes second both times. Dylan Ferrandis is your 2023 SuperMotocross World Champion.

Dylan: 162 points

Chase: 160 points

Aaron Plessinger comes into Chicago tied for second with Jett Lawrence so they share similar paths. Plessinger wins the title with overall victories in Chicago and LA. Plessinger’s fans are everywhere so expect the Coliseum to melt down in celebration if this happens.